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Wolf Administration Honors Students, Drivers at Pennsylvania School Bus Safety Awards

10/22/2018

Governor Tom Wolf Proclaims October 22-26 School Bus Safety Week in PA

Harrisburg, PA – In a ceremony at the Governor's Residence today, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Deputy Secretary for Driver and Vehicle Services Kurt Myers joined other Pennsylvania school bus safety advocates to underscore the Wolf Administration's commitment to highway safety by honoring nine students for communicating important school bus safety messages, and six school bus drivers for their superior driving skills. 

The students, in kindergarten through eighth grade, were recognized for their winning entries in the 2018 School Bus Safety Poster Contest. The theme for this year's contest - "My School Bus, The Safest Form of Student Transportation!" - reflects the commitment school bus drivers show daily to both parents and students.

"By taking part in the poster contest, these young artists help us share important safety messages through their creations," said PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards. "Their talent and creativity illustrate the trust families and students place each day in the skills of our school bus drivers and their commitment to ensuring the safety of our most precious assets while delivering them to and from school and extracurricular activities."

This year's winners were chosen from 352 public and private school student entries. The first-place entries will be forwarded to a national competition to be judged at the end of this month. 

2018 School Bus Safety Poster Contest Winners

Kindergarten – Grade 2

  • First Place: Maya Bearden, Eagleville Elementary School, Eagleville, Montgomery County
  • Second Place: Amanda Sommer, Conneaut Valley Elementary School, Conneautville, Crawford County
  • Third Place: Kaylynn Fidler, Pine Grove Area Elementary School, Pine Grove, Schuylkill County

Grades 3 – 5

  • First Place: Alivia Spitz, Reiffton School, Reading, Berks County 
  • Second Place: Sally Nguyen Reiffton School, Reading, Berks County 
  • Third Place: Lee Edgell, Friendship Hill Elementary School, Port Marion, Fayette County 

Grades 6 – 8

  • First Place: Lauren Schmader, Brockway Area Jr/Sr High School, Brockway, Jefferson County 
  • Second Place: Desteny Keiser, Upper Dauphin Area Middle School, Lykens, Dauphin County
  • Third Place: Emalie Brown, Upper Dauphin Area Middle School, Lykens, Dauphin County 

Also during today's ceremony, PennDOT Bureau of Driver Licensing Director Kara Templeton and Captain Robert Krol, assistant director of the Bureau of Patrol for the Pennsylvania State Police, presented certificates and governor's citations to six school bus drivers for winning the 2018 Pennsylvania School Bus Driver Safety Competition. Held each June, the competition tests school bus drivers' knowledge of safety rules and safe operation of their buses.

"These drivers serve as a model for all school bus drivers and this recognition further reinforces the trust parents have in them," said Capt. Krol. "Bus drivers do an extraordinary job every day ensuring the safety of our children as they travel to and from school." 

2018 PA School Bus Driver Safety Competition Winners

Conventional Bus

  • First Place: Shanon O'Brien, Chester County; Krapf Bus Companies 
  • Second Place: Larry Hannon, Sr., Bucks County; Centennial School District 
  • Third Place: Larry Hannon, Jr., Bucks County; Centennial School District

 Transit Style Bus

  • First Place: Michael Webster, Lebanon County; Brightbill Transportation
  • Second Place: Ruth Del Vecchio, Chester County; Krapf Bus Companies
  • Third Place: Beth McGowan, Montgomery County; Lower Merion School District

Working with other government agencies and school bus safety partners, PennDOT will present a social media campaign for School Bus Safety Week.  Join us in this important conversation by using the hashtag #PASchoolBusSafety. Like the Department on Facebook and Instagram.  Follow PennDOT on Twitter.

For more information about school bus safety, visit PennDOT's highway safety website, www.penndot.gov/safety, select the "Traffic Safety and Driver Topics" tab then select the "School Bus Safety" tab. The website also offers an interactive video illustrating Pennsylvania's school bus stopping law. 

MEDIA CONTACT: Alexis Campbell, 717-787-0485

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